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A Retailer's Guide to Search Engine Optimisation 04
SEO Best and Worst Practice 08
Questions to Ask Your SEO Company 10
The Science Behind Search 13
SEO Dos and Don’ts for E-Commerce 14
Trends in Non-Paid Search 15
Social Media Optimisation 16
Getting to Know Your Search Engine 18
FOREWORD & EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
W elcome to Power
Special Report on Search Engine
Retail’s In the pages ahead, experienced SEO specialists outline a number of
key strategies and techniques for taking maximum advantage of SEO,
plus tips for procurement of SEO consultants/agencies, how search
Since the dawn of the internet, SEO has engines work, best practice examples (and worst practice examples) and
mirrored the growth and complexity of the much more to help guide your trek through the SEO jungle.
world wide web. As a marketing discipline, Special thanks to Power Retail’s Nirosha Methananda and Neha Kale
it’s a living organism – a difficult beast to for compiling this report, and to the many experts and retailers who con-
tame, with a million or more variables to tributed. We hope you find this helpful in the quest for discoverability.
consider, and there is no such thing as ‘perfect’ in the language of SEO.
What we want to do is help you get to ‘good’ and beyond. There is Grant Arnott
a wealth of literature available on the subject of SEO, but this report Editor and Publisher
focuses specifically on how it applies to the online retail environment,
particularly in the Asia Pacific region.
As any successful e-commerce retailer will tell you, mastery of SEO is
critical in establishing competitive advantage – if your customers find
your competition more easily than they find you, it won’t matter how
wonderful your customer experience and product and site usability are.
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2 SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
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A Retailer’s Guide to
Search Engine Optimisation
WORDS: Nirosha Methananda
earch engines represent an advertising opportunity for busi-
nesses who (if optimised) can be found through one click, as RETAILER’S PERSPECTIVE – SEO RESULTS
opposed to usually expensive and at times, immeasurable, “Organic traffic accounts for 50 percent of our inbound traffic,
above the line advertising tactics. which roughly translates to approximately 30 to 40 percent of our
Enter search engine optimisation or as it is more commonly known, total revenue. We only started pushing SEO at the end of our first
SEO. Defined by Wikipedia as: The process of improving the visibility of a year in business, and since then revenue has grown ten times (we're
website or a web page in search engines via the ‘natural’ or un-paid (‘organic’ or currently in our 3rd year of business). From a ‘return on investment’
‘algorithmic’) search results. point of view, this has definitely been one of the best channels we've
invested in and continue to invest in.”
As search engines become increasingly complex, in order to provide us-
WaiHong Fong, Managing Director, Ozhut Pty Ltd
ers with highly relevant and personalised results, the practice of SEO has
also grown exponentially to represent a key component of online success.
According to Forrester, the Australian internet penetration rate was 77
THE GOOGLE MACHINE
percent in 2009 and is predicted to reach 83 percent by 2015. In direct
Impossible to ignore and synonymous with online search, Google changed
correlation to this, Forrester also forecasts that online retail sales will be
the internet and the practice of SEO forever when launched in 1998.
worth an estimated $33.3 billion by this time.
“What made the difference with Google was its consideration of links
With internet penetration rates set to boom and coming generations
in search,” highlights Thomas.
more internet reliant than ever, retailers will need to ensure they are
Where other search engines relied solely on keywords and content,
discoverable online in order to be competitive via this channel.
“Larry Page and Sergey Brin introduced the theory of following links be-
The recent Marketing Sherpa ‘2011 Search Marketing Benchmark Report
tween websites. They started to count in-bound links, giving those links
– SEO Edition’ revealed that SEO is clearly perceived as being the more ef-
weight and by doing this they created a search engine that yielded very
fective tactic for increasing bottom line and commonly measured objectives
good results. Plus the fact that the website was such an easy, uncluttered
including: website traffic, lead generation, offline and online sales revenue.
tool to use,” he continues.
The report indicated that over time, SEO has earned a reputation for being
a promising tactic and producing measurable return on investment (ROI).
4 SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
“All SEO tends to start with keyword
research and trying to understand
what keywords people are typing into
a search engine.”
—— Chris Thomas, Chief Search Engineer, Reseo
Though algorithms between various search engines differ (see ‘Getting
to Know Your Search Engine’), the Google index comprises websites, RETAILER’S PERSPECTIVE
indexed by Google ‘spiders’ (which crawl through web pages, analysing – SEO STRATEGIES
the information contained on them, then following links to other pages “Generally we work on both onsite and offsite strategies. We invest
and indexing those etc). heaps to ensure high quality copy that is SEO friendly on every page
When a query is received, Google’s software searches this index and of the site. It's also important to ensure page elements such as
then assesses the results based on a combination of over two hundred images are properly tagged and train all team members to have an
questions (such as: are the keywords in the title, the URL, are there syn- SEO mentality for every channel of the business.
onyms of the term on the page, links to the page, etc). It then returns the With offsite, we customise a link building strategy for each site
most relevant webpage in response to the query. that revolves around building relevant/quality links - spammy links
This dramatic change in search engine behaviour forced website are a big no-no as are paid links.
developers to become more savvy and perpetuated the evolution of SEO Focus on the quick wins. Most people try to hit out on the big,
practice, to achieve prevalence and relevance on the World Wide Web. but highly competitive terms when starting out in SEO. We tend to
go for the longer tail – where there is less traffic and competition,
but usually better converting terms, at least at the start. There is a
THE LOW-DOWN ON PAGE RANK better ROI working on these first.
Based on an algorithm developed by Google’s Larry Page’s, ‘Page I think it's also a good move to work with best of breed software
Rank’ measures the importance of a website, based on the amount as opposed to a big system with average functions. In the same way,
of backlinks it posseses.
SEO consists of a large variety of processes of which some agencies/
“People think that possessing a high ‘Page Rank’ score and people will be better than others in specific tasks. We work with
receiving links from other websites with high ranks is a good thing quite a varied group of people to execute link building, content
– it’s very clear to us that Page Rank is not a particularly important creation and a big picture strategy.” WaiHong Fong, Managing
indicator of how well your site is performing in the eyes of Google. Director, Ozhut Pty Ltd
It’s about being super relevant and making sure that each page is
Chris Thomas, Chief Search Engineer, Reseo
As its name indicates, the structural part of SEO refers to optimising and
ensuring that a website is friendly to the user and to the search engines.
This may include: 404 error pages, no duplicate content, SEO friendly
Dominic Gluchowski, Search Director at SEO Falcon, purports that SEO
navigations, accessibility to search engine spiders and internal linking.
consists of three parts: structural, tactical and promotional.
Gluchowski has the following recommendations for structural SEO:
“If you think of SEO as a car, the structural and tactical parts are the
• URLs should be short, clean and descriptive, with no additional jargon.
build of the car and the promotional part is the petrol. You can put a car
• Navigation should be clean and crawlable (by spiders), to ensure that
on the racetrack, however it won’t go anywhere without the petrol – so
the most important pages on your website can be indexed.
promotion is a very important part of SEO.”
• Page titles should be descriptive of the page content, kept within 69
These three activities contribute to the following factors, listed by Phil
characters and include your keywords where possible. Ideally someone
Leahy, Director Asia Pacific, SEOmoves, which are taken into account by
coming across your page in search results will know exactly what it is
search engines when returning search query results:
about. Page titles should also be kept consistent across different types
Visibility – the site must be well organised and structured to make it
of pages (e.g. product page titles could be structured in similar ways,
easy for the search engine to index it;
where category page titles a bit differently, etc.).
Reputation – you have to strive to be a leader in the delivery of mean-
• Images should be titled appropriately with ‘alt tags’ that describe the
ingful and quality information; and
image. As search engines are not able to ‘see’ images, they assess the
Relevance – the site has to be relevant to user’s searching, so keyword
text information in determining the context of the image.
research is critical to setting up your site.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION 5
“If you think of SEO as a car, the structural and tactical
parts are the build of the car and the promotional
part is the petrol. You can put a car on the racetrack,
however it won’t go anywhere without the petrol
– so promotion is a very important part of SEO.”
—— Dominic Gluchowski,
Search Director at SEO Falcon
TACTICAL SEO “Also making sure that you have good internal linking structure assists
Tactical SEO involves activities to ensure maximum impact based on an with SEO. Whenever you mention something that you have on another
SEO budget and competitiveness – of this, one of the most important page within copy, link them together – so that Google can crawl and in-
parts of tactical SEO is keyword research. dex those pages too. Good internal linking structure means that all pages
“All SEO tends to start with keyword research and trying to understand can be accessed within three steps.”
what keywords people are typing into a search engine,” comments
Described as ‘SEO petrol’, promotional SEO drives authority with search
According to Jeff Quipp of Search Engine People Inc, featured in the
engines in visiting and indexing your website within their libraries. This
Hubspot ‘Learning SEO from The Experts’, retailers should consider the
is done primarily through getting a variety of high quality, authoritive
following when developing their keyword list:
websites to link back to your website, through various initiatives such as:
• Listing root brands and product/service names (e.g. TV);
• Press Releases;
• Brainstorming variations of product and brand related keywords (e.g.
• Business Directories;
• Social Bookmarks;
• Talking to clients to determine what terms they use in search;
• Leveraging existing content;
• Studying competitors’ sites;
• Analysis of competitor backlinks;
• Adding geographic variations (e.g. TV Australia, TV Melbourne);
• Video Syndication;
• Adding descriptive variations (e.g. LED 40 inch TV);
• Taking all the variations and entering them into the Google AdWords
• Social Media; and
Keyword Tool, which will suggest numerous other variations.
There are various tools available to analyse keywords, which are listed
With the changes brought about by Google, links remain of key impor-
later on in our ‘SEO Reference Tools’ section.
tance to promotional SEO.
“Once established, making sure keywords are positioned on appro-
“Focusing on getting links to a very few high quality business directo-
priate pages, in certain sections of each page (such as the title tag) is an
ries (such as Business.com, Yahoo!7 Directory, Best of The Web Directory
incredibly important signal to Google about the content on your page.
and the JoeAnt.com Directory to name a few) is a good place to start,”
Don’t over-spam your title tags with copious amounts of keywords oth-
suggests Gluchowski. “They do cost a lot of money, but they don’t accept
erwise you will dilute the message. You really want your title tags to be
any spammy websites – which means that your website will be regarded
limited to one or two phrases at the most,” advises Thomas.
as having a much higher authority with search engines.”
“Also, ideally while you’re developing a site map, you’d include key-
Another way to improve the authority of your website is by getting
words in file structures and page names, so from top to bottom the page is
your name out there so to speak. “If you appear in press Google is more
very clearly about very specific keyword terms,” he concluded.
likely to trust you. You should be issuing press releases every four to six
“You need to make sure that you can compete for words according to
weeks, which should be sent out through a reputable distribution service,
your SEO budget. There is no point optimising for search terms that are
who are recognised and hold authority with search engines.” Gluchowski
too competitive for your budget, which you will never be able to rank
advises that retailers should also be looking at other online avenues
highly for,” advises Gluchowski.
through which to leverage search authority and relevance. For example,
Another element that is important for successful tactical SEO, is adding
retailers with bricks and mortar stores should make sure all of their loca-
content to your website on a regular basis.
tions are entered and optimised for Google Places, with relevant product
“Content creation is very important – in terms of traffic, you will find
that you get much more traffic from lower level search terms from within
He recommends leveraging social networks, such as Facebook and
the content on your site. The approximate breakdown of traffic in terms of
Linked In, whose listings also appear in search results and can add weight
search terms is: 10% of traffic from high-level search terms, 10-20% from
to your website as being a legitimate business.
mid-volume search terms and 70% from the long tail,” says Gluchowski.
6 SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
INPUT METHOD LOCATION OF LINKS VALUE/AUTHORITY
MANUAL LINK BUILDING LINK BUILDER INPUTS COMMENTS SECTIONS OF LITTLE OR NO VALUE
LINKS TO OTHER WEBSITES OTHER WEBSITES, SOCIAL
MIXTURE OF MANUAL AND LINK BUILDER AND EXTERNAL WEBSITES – MEDIUM VALUE/
EDITORIAL INPUT EDITORS AT EXTERNAL INVOLVES CONTACTING AUTHORITY – DEPENDENT
WEBSITES SITE EDITORS TO ON THE SITES YOU GET TO
INTRODUCE CONTENT LINK
AND GET THEM TO LINK TO
COMPLETELY EDITORIAL ORGANIC UNPROMPTED EXTERNAL WEBSITES – MEDIUM TO HIGH VALUE/
LINKS LINK TO YOUR SITE AND AUTHORITY
CONTENT WITHOUT ANY
Source: Hubspot, ‘Learning SEO From The Experts: A Step-By-Step Guide’, Year Unknown http://www.hubspot.com/
“By creating a company page with Linked In and getting your employ-
SEO REFERENCE TOOLS
ees to add your website as a link within their profile creates authority
Google Keyword Tool – adwords.google.com/
with Google, because ‘spammy’ websites wouldn’t have many employees.
Google has quite a powerful keyword tool, which shows the local Photos on Flickr, Facebook and Twitter also contribute to your authority,
and global traffic on particular keywords, variations of the keyword although these listings do not hold as much weight at the moment, but
and provides a comprehensive indication of which keywords to are likely to in the future,” he concluded.
target for your SEO efforts. “You can have the smartest person in the world developing your web-
SEO Chat Keyword Difficulty Check Tool – www.seochat.com/ site, write thousands of page of content, but if no one links to it – your
seo-tools/keyword-difficulty/ site won’t be found online.” This is where quality link building plays its
You can see how difficult it would be to rank for specific keywords part and getting quality sites to link to you equates to quality in Google’s
or keyword phrases. This tool issues a percentage score that eyes,” says Leahy.
indicates how difficult it would be to rank on the first page for this Backlinking or link baiting is the process of creating pieces of content
term; higher percentages mean greater difficulty. that are issued via the internet, so that other people can put the content
Yahoo! Site Explorer - on their websites and in turn provide links back to you.
FUTURE PROOFING FOR SEO
Yahoo! provides a free tool that lists up to 1,000 of the links to
Given that search engines are rapidly changing machines, how can retail-
any site. Enter your domain name on a particular page, select the
ers go about future proofing their SEO strategies in order to remain com-
‘Inlinks’ button, and change the settings to ‘Show links: except from
this domain.’ Also select ‘to: entire site’ if you’d like to see links to the
Thomas advises that retailers need to examine their analytics. “If you’ve
whole site rather than just a single page.
got 90 percent of your traffic coming from Google, I would be looking at
These links are not in any particular order and the list will include
other ways to get traffic to your website. Look at Facebook and Facebook
links that do not pass any value as well as those that do.
ads, try to get traffic from Bing, perhaps even look outside search engines
Open Site Explorer - http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/
and advertise above the line to get your brand better known,”he says.
This tool provides information about the top 1,000 links to a
“Make your own website work harder, ensure a quality experience by
site. These can be filtered to exclude links that do not pass value.
engaging usability testing, improving conversion rates, etc. Also try to
Additional information about each link includes the anchor text used
optimise all of your content, such as images, videos, etc.”
and the authority of each linking page.
“From a technical SEO perspective, there is no such thing as a future-
The Open Site Explorer tool also includes reports that showcase
proofing strategy,” says WaiHong Fon, Managing Director for Ozhut Pty
the most popular pages on the site, the most common anchor
Ltd.“That being said, the only real strategy is to build an awesome team
text used to link to a page or site and other information about the
of switched-on, passionate and humble (willing to learn) digital market-
strength of the page.
ers who will adapt and surf whatever wave Google throws at us next.”
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION 7
SEO Best and Worst
WORDS: Nirosha Methananda
SITES TO WATCH
BEST PRACTICE SEO
Our resident SEO experts give their
examples of retail websites, which are best
practice examples of SEO.
“When we met with Ozhut, I was
absolutely blown away by how far
advanced they are in terms of SEO and
the incredible theming of each of the
niche websites that they have put out.
They aren’t a big DealsDirect or Harvey
Norman retailer, but they basically create
separate websites for each niche they
operate out of and each is considered a
separate SEO project.
“This means when you type single-word
keywords into Google, such as ‘telescopes’,
‘binoculars’, etc and see them coming up
time and time again in the number one
position for those keywords, you have to
say that they’re doing something right.
“I think that a lot of the bigger
e-commerce sites, such as Myer and David
Jones, should really be watching out for
these sorts of players.”
Chris Thomas, Chief Search Engineer, Reseo
“Everything has been ticked off with this
site – they’ve got a good amount of links
pointing at them, they’ve got great title
tags, really well structured content –
they’re really tight.”
Phil Leahy, Director Asia Pacific, SEOmoves
8 SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
NOT ALL PUBLICITY IS GOOD ONLINE
“Hello, My name is Stanley with DecorMyEyes.com, I just wanted to let you
“Negative articles are great for traffic, use the word scam, people flock
guys know that the more replies you people post, the more business and the
to it… it’s the best for getting traffic,” says Phil Leahy, Director Asia
more hits and sales I get. My goal is NEGATIVE advertisement. It’s all part
of a sales strategy. Online chatter about DecorMyEyes, even furious online
However, in the recent case of Vitaly Borker owner of the now chatter, pushed the site higher in Google search results, which led to greater
infamous ‘DécorMyEyes.com’ – it was a case of all publicity is not good sales. I never had the amount of traffic I have now since my 1st complaint. I
publicity and a lesson to all those who are unethical and/or leverage am in heaven.”
negative publicity to drive search results.
“He’s on the radar – as soon as you’re on the radar, Google might not
The retailer who purported to sell luxury eyeglasses through his website, comment on it, they mightn’t act straight away, but they’ll do it. They
was allegedly operating a scheme to defraud his customers by selling have a whole team of people, ready to get scoundrels and unplug
counterfeit and inferior quality goods, making un-authorised charges to them,” concluded Leahy.
their account, and retaliating to their subsequent complaints through a
True to this statement, Google has apparently modified its algorithms
pattern of cyberstalking and threats – was enjoying the online publicity,
to ensure such businesses can’t rort the search engine system to their
which pushed his website to the top of the Google search results.
advantage in this manner.
What made waves in the digital marketing world was that Borker
used his vicious treatment of customers to propel his business’ search
rankings, taunting aggrieved clients by implying their complaints were
fantastic for business, he posted the following in response to all of the
negative comments (quoted by the New York Times):
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION 9
Questions to Ask
Your SEO Company
WORDS: Dominic Gluchowski
earch engine optimisation (SEO) can have a significant impact To calculate the ROI, you will need to provide potential SEO companies
on your business by attracting sales, leads and visitors to your with a number of statistics including:
site. Good SEO involves ensuring your website ranks within • Average sale/lead price
the first few organic results in search engines for terms that • Average conversion rate of a visitor to sale or lead to the sale
are commonly used by your desired audience. Organic results differ from • Number of current visitors from organic search.
pay-per-click (PPC), also known as search engine marketing (SEM), which In the absence of some of these statistics, the industry average data can
generally relate to text ads that appear at the top and right-hand side of be used so there are no excuses to not include ROI in the proposal.
a search engine.
However, hiring a SEO firm can be a daunting process and requires a FAST FACTS
strong level of SEO understanding. Google’s ranking formula continues
to evolve on a regular basis – it’s changed more than twice a day in the first
RETURN ON INVESTMENT
six months of 2010 alone. The lack of a guaranteed method to boost web- Including ROI calculations in your proposal can open discussion
site search results coupled with the levels of competition across various about factoring a revenue-based performance fee within the
industries further complicates the task of choosing the best firm. Hope- agreement. The right reward could highly motivate your SEO firm
fully, the following key questions will help you make the most informed
to deliver the best results. However, it is unlikely that a reputable
decision when hiring a SEO company.
SEO firm would accept revenue-based performance fees for a poorly
designed or outdated site.
1. CAN YOU INCLUDE RETURN ON INVESTMENT
(ROI) ESTIMATIONS IN THE PROPOSAL?
Measuring ROI is undoubtedly the best way of understanding if your
2. DOES MY WEBSITE NEED A REDESIGN?
investment is likely to generate a return for your business. You should
Website design has a major role to play in the online customer experience.
ensure that your SEO timeframes are included along with the costs of that
Investing money in SEO while having a poorly designed or outdated
time period (e.g. if the ROI calculated for three years, and the length of the
website without a clear message is like paying for a TV advertisement
SEO project is one year, then it is important to note the ongoing charges for
while maintaining an untidy shop with bad customer service. Good
the remaining two years to rank highly across search engines). Remember
website design leads to a higher conversion rates, a significantly better
that it will usually take three to nine months to start seeing results.
ROI and is a powerful investment in your client experience.
10 SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
“Measuring return on investment is
undoubtedly the best way of understanding
if your investment is likely to generate a
return for your business.”
3. WILL IT BE POSSIBLE TO IMPLEMENT ALL OF THE Link baiting: creation and distribution of strong, unique content as
RECOMMENDATIONS ON MY WEBSITE AND WHAT RESOURCES well as tools that go viral and result in other websites linking to yours.
WILL I REQUIRE FOR THIS PROJECT? Competitor link strategy: obtaining links from the highest quality
One of the major issues companies face when it comes to search is websites currently linking to your competitors.
that their website does not allow them to implement major SEO Internal linking: linking within your own website to different pages.
recommendations. This is often caused by content management systems External linking: linking from your website to other sites with compli-
that restrict changes to certain parts of a site. It is important to take this mentary content.
into account when preparing your SEO strategy. Deep linking submissions: obtaining back-links to pages other than
The second biggest problem is a lack of resources available to imple- your homepage (e.g. category and product pages).
ment recommendations. Ensure that your agency clearly outlines the
resources required from your side for each one of the SEO tasks. You AUTOMATED LINK GENERATION
should clarify who will take responsibility for tasks such as writing press
releases or populating your website with recommended content.
Automated link generation is often counterproductive to building
your long-term brand. As some search engines use filters to penalise
4. HOW COMPETITIVE IS SEO WITHIN MY INDUSTRY? CAN YOU artificial link building, automatic link generation often results in
OFFER SEO STATISTICS THAT PROVIDE ANY INSIGHT? short-term gains and long-term pain. Link exchanges that do not
As every industry is different, SEO is far from a one-size-fits-all solution. complement your content can negatively impact on the trust that
Various websites might already incorporate SEO modules or have been Google assigns to your website.
subject to previous optimisation work. By asking this question you can
You should always receive a written commitment stating:
determine if the SEO agency has done their homework.
You should expect a response that focuses on Page Rank (Google as- • Timeframes accounting for the number of back-links added
signs each website a ranking from zero, being the least trustworthy, to 10
• Number and quality (Page Rank) of back-links from each type
being the most) and most importantly on the quality, quantity and types
of websites that link to your site. Failing to do this is problematic as these
• Number of internal pages of your website that back-links will be
metrics are key to designing a custom SEO solution. Custom solutions
pointing to (the pages with back-links will be most prominent in
provide significant savings by focusing on the highest-impact SEO ele-
the search results).
ments and avoiding duplication.
• Ongoing back-link costs (i.e. reoccurring annual business directories
charges) - avoid removal of back-links from quality websites.
5. CAN YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN YOUR LINK MARKETING
STRATEGY IN DETAIL?
6. WHAT WILL THE KEYWORD RECOMMENDATIONS
Link marketing (also known as back-linking) relates to initiatives and
BE BASED ON?
activities that invite external websites to link back to your site. This is one
Research is critical to determining the relevant, targeted keywords
of the most effective elements of SEO.
required for a successful SEO campaign and this is based on as large a
The link marketing proposal module should include a descriptive list-
sample size as possible. It is easy to obtain paid and free data sources that
ing of the types of websites that link to your site; the number of unique
offer sample sizes in excess of 2.5 million Australians.
links added each month and a minimum Page Rank commitment.
Keyword recommendations should be based on the search terms, which
Link marketing is about obtaining links from various types of trust-
your website will be able to rank within the first few results when taking
worthy websites (with a Page Rank of three and higher). The increase
your budget into consideration. Budget should be based on industry
in the number of back-links needs to be consistent over a long period of
competitiveness and the estimated ROI.
time (preferably three to 24 months) for search engines to recognise your
Having a low to medium sized budget in a competitive industry will
growth as your website increases its popularity.
mean targeting less competitive search terms (usually low search volume
It is critical that your agency commit to obtaining back-links from
keywords), as there is no point optimising your website for competitive
websites with a minimum Page Rank of three for business directories and
search terms that it will never rank for.
a rank of five for press release distribution services. This commitment
According to research completed by leading SEO research firm, SEOmoz,
should be included in the SEO agreement.
it is vital to aim for a number one ranking for the highest volume search
Link marketing should comprise various initiatives, as it’s not the best
terms. As you can see in the following example, the first result receives
practice to receive back-links only from one type of site. The available
over 42 percent of clicks and the second result receives 3.5 times less.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION 11
SEO BEST PRACTICE
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR
Make sure you analyse the following elements for all client
references provided; your key priorities should be user experience,
consistency and adherence to SEO requirements. While completing
this analysis, ask yourself: does all of the text make sense and drive
the reader to make a purchase or is it spammed with search terms?
• age Titles (e.g. the blue title in the search results) – the most
important search terms should be within the first 69 characters.
You should also analyse the structure of page titles.
• eta Descriptions (e.g. the description underneath the blue
title in the search results) – this should persuade users to click
on the link to the website.
• ody Text and Headings - keywords do not need to be
repeated many times.
Source: SEOmoz 2009
ategory pages – these should include category names in the
same places across all category pages (this also applies to product
GETTING AHEAD WITH GOOGLE ADWORDS pages). Consistency is the key to a strong customer experience as
it help users to understand where they are within the website.
Google Adwords is a powerful SEO resource that can significantly
increase your company’s chances of being found online. The service When you find any discrepancies you should ask the agency about
works on a pay-per-click basis and displays your ad alongside them, as clients can sometimes make independent changes which
search results when someone performs a Google search using one might contradict their recommendations.
of your keywords.
Adwords will place your ad under the ‘Sponsored Links’ section of
the search page and may appear above the free search results – this there might be a good reason for not targeting these terms. The most
has the advantage of advertising to an audience that has already important part of due diligence is double-checking with the marketing
engaged with your business. managers or webmasters responsible for these sites that all SEO work
met their expectations. Many companies hiring SEO companies fail to
verify these credentials to discover that companies may not have done as
7.HOW WILL YOUR WEBSITE TRAFFIC BE MONITORED AND much SEO work as they claim to have.
MEASURED? WHAT TYPE OF REPORTS WILL YOU GET AND
HOW OFTEN WILL YOU RECEIVE THEM?
9. DO THEY HAVE LONG-TERM SATISFIED CLIENTS?
The aim of the report is to demonstrate the results of the project as well
Make sure you confirm the long-term satisfaction of your agency’s
as to help to identify actionable insights. Reporting should comprise
clients by obtaining testimonials and/or verbal references. Can they
a one-page dashboard in conjunction with an executive summary
provide detailed case studies indicating ROI results and the search
outlining key insights. A more detailed report should be provided to
engine positions achieved for their clients? It is crucial that the SEO
companies with more resources. Reports should compare results over
company provide case studies incorporating ROI. This indicates that
time and should include:
they are ROI-driven and can demonstrate the value they bring to their
• Sales clients. The ROI should always be based on sales or leads from non-
• Leads branded organic traffic. This means that the sales and leads generated
• Conversions from searches for the brand names are not counted as part of ROI. This
• Traffic is important because searches for the brand could be generated by TV
• Rankings campaigns and other marketing initiatives.
• Channel performance Search for your agency’s name, as well as their reviews. Go through at
least three pages of search results to check if there are any mentions of
8. CAN YOU PROVIDE ME WITH THE THREE MOST
negative client experiences. It is important to investigate any of these
COMPETITIVE SEARCH TERMS THAT YOUR CLIENTS HAVE
claims by calling the person making them, as well as speaking to directly
RANKED FOR? DO THEY STILL RANK WELL FOR THESE?
to your agency about them.
It is important to audit your SEO agency’s claims and ensure their
legitimacy. Due diligence processes should be comprehensive and take
into account competitive search terms as well as current rankings. Double
check these results in Google making sure you clear your cache and reset
cookies in your browser to avoid personalisation of your search results.
It is also a good idea to check the search volumes in Google Adwords
Keyword Tool to understand if there are any higher volume search terms
that their clients might be better off ranking for. If you find the higher
volume keywords then ask your SEO company for an explanation as
12 SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
The Science Behind Search
WORDS: Frank Grasso, CEO at e-channel search
ave you ever wondered why American online retailers are so successful? There is a simple explanation - they are brilliantly optimised.
We can learn a lot from the Americans. A recent US-based Internet Retailer survey revealed Australia ranks in their top three markets
for generating web sales outside of the US. It is more disturbing that some of these retailers admitted to winning this business with-
out offering the necessary features and functions designed to cater for international shoppers. US-based online retailers are winning
Australian business mainly due to the effectiveness of their search engine optimisation and paid search techniques.
Forrester Research and AC Nielsen discovered that 62 to 78 percent of Australian internet users are online shoppers. They also estimate Australian
online spending will reach a staggering $32 billion by 2012. IBISWorld predict online sales will eventually hit $75 billion as more retailers increase the
efficiency and reliability of their online channels.
We need to beat our American counterparts and the rest of the world at search in order to remain competitive and regain market share for Australia’s
lucrative online retail businesses. To achieve this we can either optimise for organic search and/or use paid search methods.
These are my top five ways of improving search engine optimisation: My top five search engine marketing tips are as follows:
1. USE UNIQUE TITLE TAGS 1. MATCH KEYWORDS TO LANDING PAGES
Each page requires a unique title. Used by both the searcher and your By matching keywords to landing pages you instantly improve the
search engine, a unique title tag summarises web page content while quality of the ad. This improves the experience for the customer who
acting as the descriptor for your webpage and attracting attention in the is sent to the landing page that matches their search intent, delivering
search engine results. a higher click-through rate, which attracts a better ‘Quality Score’ from
You need to ensure keywords relate to the content of your page, that search engines and reduces the cost-per-click.
you invest time in researching keyword phrases and place them towards
2. WRITE ADS THAT ENCOURAGE CLICKS
the beginning of the title.
Make sure you design landing pages to match ads. If you are running a
2. TREAT THE DESCRIPTOR TAG AS AN AD pay-per-click (PPC) campaign and have an ad with the headline, ‘Cheapest
As the introduction to your website, the ‘descriptor tag’ will determine Apple iPads’, then you need to write a headline for the landing page
whether the searcher reads on. You need to write a compelling descriptor that matches this. Make sure you match your headline to the visitor’s
tag, as you would an ad and always include relevant keywords. The expectations.
‘descriptor tag’ is sometimes shown in the search engine results under the
3. EXPAND THE CAMPAIGN
‘title tag’, so it is important your descriptor tag is targeted towards both
Categorise and subcategorise - structure ad groups for keywords that
searchers and search engines.
mean the same thing. It is easier to write more compelling ads to
3. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HIGHER-RANKING WEBSITES correspond to keyword groups.
If another webpage relevant to your business is ranking higher than
4. PREQUALIFY ADS BY USING PRICE OR OTHER PRODUCT
yours, take advantage of it. If you can’t beat them, join them! If it is a blog
DESCRIPTORS IN THE AD
or a review site, advertise and get exposure on their site. If a television
If your plasma costs $950, tell your searchers beforehand so you’re not
review site is reviewing the latest Sony Plasma, place an ad on the review
wasting a click. Eliminate searchers that are just searching for the best
page as a response. If you find a blog discussing your product, it would
price by exposing them to the price of your product before they click. If
be smart to link to it.
they have seen the same plasma TV for $900 they won’t click on your ad
4. LINKS STILL MATTER and waste your AdWords spend.
Links are the backbone of Google’s Page Rank. Google counts the links
5. USE NEGATIVE KEYWORDS
to your site and gauges the quality, quantity and credibility of these
If you are selling premium plasma televisions, eliminate negative
links. Armed with this knowledge, Google either increases or decreases
keywords such as the word ‘reviews’, so your ads are not attracting people
the relevance of your site against particular keyword searches. In order to
searching for reviews. You are much better off placing ads on a plasma
increase relevancy and improve search engine results you need to build
television review site. Continually refine your negative keywords in order
the right kind of links for your site.
to ensure your ads are showing exclusively to your desired audience.
5. USE YOUR WEBMASTER TOOLS
Use Google’s free Webmaster Tools to set geographical targets for your
site and make sure you geo-target your top-level domain. If your company
is part of a US retailer, you can geo-target Australia to gain a higher search
engine ranking and drive sales.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION 13
SEO Dos and Don’ts
WORDS: Aidan Beanland, SEO and Audience Optimisation Manager, Yahoo7!
o longer a value-add or afterthought for businesses with an online presence, search engine optimisation (SEO) should be integral to your
internet strategy. Fortunately, search engines can no longer be tricked into ranking sites that are stuffed with repetitive keywords or
attempt to boost the number of inbound links by submitting to low-quality web directories or spamming forums. However, there are
some valuable rules to follow to ensure your SEO efforts generate the best return on your investment. Here are 12 factors to consider:
1. CREATE WEB PAGES FOR HUMANS 1. OBSESS OVER RANKINGS
Repeating keyword phrases just for the sake of improving your rank when The search results you see may vary according to location and for those
someone searches on them is likely to scare off any potential customers. using a mobile device or with a different search history. Rely on your
It’s worth noting that search engines use some very advanced systems to analytics reports to tell you what really matters – whether that’s sales
recognise natural language patterns, so an unnaturally high ‘keyword volume, email enquiries or newsletter subscriptions.
density’ is likely to have the opposite effect than what was intended.
2. EXPECT TOO MUCH, TOO SOON
A well-designed site doesn’t have to compromise between design and
When launching a new site you’re more likely to succeed by targeting specific
search engine friendliness.
keyword phrases. For example, a new business site for a plumbing company
2. WORSHIP WEB ANALYTICS cannot expect to rank well for ‘plumbing services’, but by adding additional
You should track user activity on all pages, and set up action tags for key terms that focus the query you might have some success with ‘emergency
events. Get familiar with the reports and use these to optimise your inflow plumber Collaroy’ or ‘blocked drain northern beaches’. Build out your site’s
channels, calculate your return on investment (ROI) and invest your time content over time, learning what interests and attracts people.
intelligently. You will be amazed by what you learn about your audience.
3. REPEAT PAGE TITLES
3. SEEK EXPERT ADVICE Page titles hold the most algorithmic ‘weight’ in search engine ranking
A well-regarded search marketing agency or consultant can be a wise calculations. Don’t forget that a compelling title can improve the chances
investment. Their objectivity, experience and tools can shed a new light of a searcher selecting your link over the competition. Ensure that every
on your potential. page title is unique and contains the most relevant keyword phrase to
describe the page. If you need to add your company name, do so at the
4. RESEARCH KEYWORDS
end of the title.
What are people typing into search engines to find your products or
services? Are those industry acronyms or buzzwords relevant to potential 4. BUY LINKS
leads? How should your site’s information architecture be defined by For the sole purpose of improving your inbound link score in an attempt
these keywords? A good keyword research project, which is revisited to gain rankings. Sites buying links in this way have been penalised by
regularly, can pave the path to success. search engines.
5. LEVERAGE SOCIAL MEDIA 5. HIDE TEXT
Search engines now include ‘tweets’ and other social media cues to help Many years ago search engines weren’t looking for hidden text which
them ascertain which page is the most relevant to some queries. A solid was added to boost search rankings without being seen by human
social media plan can help you win traffic from search engines as well as users. Nowadays, white text on a white background, ‘cloaking’, CSS and
which you intended.
6. CONSIDER YOUR LINKS
Don’t link from ‘click here’ when you could incorporate a keyword in the 6. CREATE MULTIPLE URLS FOR THE SAME PAGE
anchor text of the link (you’ve seen how well Wikipedia ranks for many Search engines do an amazing job of making sense of most sites, but
searches, right?). Make sure all your pages can be picked up by search if yours inadvertently creates more than one URL per page the search
and intuitive. splitting the value you’ve accumulated from other pages that have linked
to it. Solutions exist to counter this problem, but it’s best to plan a site so
that URLs are ‘canonical’ – one URL for each page.
14 SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
Trends in non-paid search
THE FACEBOOK FACTOR
“In the both the off and online worlds people are increasingly looking to “The missing piece of the puzzle for Facebook is that they don’t have a
their friends for advice and opinions, making search a natural place for search engine. At the moment, if you want to search from Facebook you are
this information to come together. However the signals that engines taken to Bing, however I think they will bring Bing into Facebook and work
rely on to help people find answers were not representative of their together to develop an internal search engine, using Bing’s algorithm.”
personal connections and the role these play in making decisions. Bing’s Chris Thomas, Chief Search Engineer, Reseo
partnership with Facebook allows our users to take their friends with
them to search, helping them make better, more informed decisions. “I think that Facebook certainly has the opportunity to evolve into a
This is only the beginning of a long-term partnership, and people will company, which could be anything. They could start offering search,
continue to see more from Bing and Facebook in the coming months.” because they’ve got the traffic.”
Microsoft Spokesperson on behalf of Bing Phil Leahy, Director Asia Pacific, SEOmoves
THE GOOGLE MACHINE
“Google Instant and suggested search have had a big impact on the way “Google’s understanding of how social signals will affect organic
that people search. We’ve optimised for the suggested search keywords rankings/traffic it yet to be seen. So far, we've only had confirmation
for a lot of our clients and received a lot more traffic from this. of the influence of social signals but we haven't seen too much of what
“There have also been huge algorithmic changes, such as Google specifically is being taken into consideration although we can make
Places; these results are having a lot of prominence in the top ten some guesses.
search results. Since the launch of Google Preview, some very good “Localisation is also another interesting direction that we see Google
looking websites receiving a 25 percent lift in traffic, despite organically trying to take, further highlighted by the recent move to buy Groupon.
ranking lower (fifth or sixth) in search results. We have a feeling that How this will affect pure play online retailers as Google gives perks for
Google, seeing people clicking on these sites, will factor this into having physical locations will be very interesting.”
search results and perhaps rank these sites higher.” WaiHong Fong, Managing Director, Ozhut Pty Ltd
Chris Thomas, Chief Search Engineer, Reseo
“Consumers are doing what we call ‘search sessions’ – meaning they “We're seeing a massive spike in web spam. Content farms,
query, refine, click, head back, click, refine, save, etc. In fact, 57 percent spammers, malware sites, aggregators are creating millions of pages
of these sessions last more than a day, most likely because the engines every day - pages that are solely designed to pick off search traffic
are not doing a great job at understanding what consumers want. In and monetize it. Search algorithms have a hard time differentiating
the future, expect to see even more visually organised results both the between machine-generated pages, relying on many external factors
paid and organic to help consumers accomplish tasks faster.” (links, anchor text, etc) to help them. We believe the only way to fix
Microsoft Spokesperson on behalf of Bing this is to bring humans curation back to search.”
Mike Markson, VP of Marketing, Blekko
“Mobile search is one of the fastest growing areas of search, nearly “There is a real science to this - if you do have a mobile optimised site, the
doubling in the past year (2009). A typical mobile customer spends a trick is to link to that site from your parent site. You need to emphasise
lot of effort on time sensitive tasks – and tends to act quickly based on to Google that the site is in fact a mobile site, say ‘this is a mobile site’
the information they get from these queries.” somewhere on the page. All of the other SEO principles are the same.”
Microsoft Spokesperson on behalf of Bing Chris Thomas, Chief Search Engineer, Reseo
IN THE SEO KNOW
“It’s more about trying to respond and understand what changes “Learn from the right people/places. It's important to choose your
are happening. When Google makes changes, we have to respond teachers wisely. We stick to the main authorities such as Matt Cutts,
immediately, there is no warning around this – you may be affected Search Engine Land and SEOmoz just to name a few. Beware the
positively or negatively… so you have to be reactive.” generic looking seo know-it-all sites. SEO is a constantly changing
Chris Thomas, Chief Search Engineer, Reseo science, so constant learning is very important and even the bigger
names in the industry are learning from each other.”
WaiHong Fong, Managing Director, Ozhut Pty Ltd
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION 15
Social Media Optimisation
Key to Inbound
WORDS: Craig Wilson
riving traffic to your website Why is this valuable to you? Being found A closer look reveals that of the ‘referring
should be one of your main via social media is much more than an sites’ traffic on this company site, 24 percent
objectives. Attracting relevant, endorsement or ‘referral’; it’s a vote of is derived from Twitter, which is also the
motivated traffic to the site is confidence in your site by another person who third largest source of traffic overall. The
even more critical and is the basis behind is, more often than not, related to or interested rest is divided between blog aggregator sites,
successful inbound marketing. And that’s in your area of expertise. It’s like word-of- dozens of other bloggers and various social
where social media optimisation (SMO) can mouth online. networking sites such as Digg, Linked In
really help. A strong website attracts visitors from a and Facebook.
While search engine optimisation (SEO) is all wide range of sources. If your analytics show Practising good SMO can also assist your
about making sure your website turns up in a that the bulk of your traffic is coming ‘direct’ SEO efforts and boost your Page Rank by
prominent position on the big search engines then you are probably relying on traditional generating much-needed inbound links from
for selected search terms, SMO is concerned marketing to get your name out there. But relevant referring sites.
with ensuring your website derives traffic from if that traffic is balanced between ‘direct’, Nine ways to improve your Social Media
the plethora of social media networks and ‘search engines’ and ‘referring sites’ you likely Optimisation:
tools found on the web. have a well-balanced, well-optimised site 1. Add a Blog to Your Site
SMO is the method behind making the and strategy. If you haven’t done so already, launching a
most of social media activity in order to attract The ‘search engine’ traffic indicates that blog is probably the most dynamic step you
unique visitors to a website’s content. In its your SEO is working, while the ‘referring can take to improve your overall web presence.
simplest form it can mean adding social media sites’ traffic predominantly reflects your Static sites attract less links and are less likely
features and tools such as ‘Share’, ‘Like’ or SMO efforts. to be shared by others. Blogging, by nature,
‘Retweet’ buttons to your content, or being For example, the analytics for one of my demands a steady flow of interesting content,
more socially engaged online yourself through company sites show that 48 percent of traffic and in turn gives visitors more reason to share
blogging, commenting on other blogs and comes from ‘search engines’, 23 percent ‘direct’ with others and keep coming back to your site.
discussion groups or posting updates on social and 29 percent from ‘referring sites’. SMO is In short, your content becomes more linkable.
networking sites. responsible for traffic from the ‘referring sites’.
16 SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
2. Publish Compelling Content 6. Submit Content to Other Sites 9. Study your Analytics
Talking about yourself isn’t enough. Readers Most industries have several powerful or It’s easy to monitor your efforts via a few
want helpful, useful, thought-provoking popular sites dedicated to them. Submitting simple tools. Google Analytics will show
information. The more of this you publish, your best content to these sites, to blog where your traffic is coming from, which social
the more links you’ll attract, the more blog aggregators or to the relevant section of social networks are delivering the most and which
aggregators will draw on your information news sites such as Digg and Delicious can all content is generating visits and clicks. We
and the more ‘retweets’ and ‘shares’ you’ll boost traffic and inbound links, find that traffic from ‘referring sites’ tends to
receive. Content is king online, and the more but how far this goes really depends on be more engaged, staying longer on site and
quality content you publish, the more traffic the web community and their enthusiasm for viewing more pages. A few goal funnels will
you will attract. your content. show you whether these visitors are doing
3. Enable Social Sharing and Tagging Tools
This is crucial and can be a massive source
of relevant traffic for your site. The reason
“Blogging, by nature, demands a steady flow
Twitter delivers 24 percent of the ‘referred’ of interesting content, and in turn gives
traffic to my aforementioned company site
is because we make it as easy as possible visitors more reason to share with others
for visitors to Retweet our content to their
followers. By embedding a simple Retweet
and keep coming back to your site. In short,
button on every post visitors can click and your content becomes more linkable.”
spread the word in seconds. Even better, this
style of endorsement means that it’s more 7. Provide Resources for Users what you’d really like them to do, click
likely to drive interested readers to the site. Post lists of useful sites or blogs, publish on important content, buy products or
This also applies to Facebook Share buttons, guides, create a tool that visitors might find make enquiries.
Digg buttons and RSS feeds. There are literally useful. All of these approaches can generate The bigger social media sites, like
dozens of potential sharing options you could solid traffic and links and in the social Facebook, Linked In, YouTube and MySpace
enable on your site, and often it comes down media sphere generosity tends to generate provide decent analytics that will inform
to which are the most relevant to your target reciprocity, so don’t be afraid to invest some your efforts while more sophisticated tools
audience, or where you are most active online. effort in ideas that might not always seem like such as PeopleBrowsr, Research.ly and
4. Make Yourself Easy to Follow a direct benefit to your business. Klout (among others) can provide very deep
Your website should provide visitors with an 8. Genuinely Participate in the Social Sphere insight into your social media engagement.
easy way to follow you online. Provide links Most people can smell a phoney a mile away Use the information to consistently refine
to your RSS feed, your Twitter, Facebook and and companies that use social media as a and inform your strategy and content.
Linked In pages and any other relevant sites broadcast-only channel aren’t likely to endear Effective social media optimisation
you are active in. These days you could also themselves to the social sphere. Converse requires a 360 degree approach. By
include links to your iPhone or Android app. with your community, post comments, publishing content, enabling social
5. Ensure Your Social Network Profiles are engage followers and ‘join the conversation’. networking tools, enabling easy following
Complete and Consistent Important note: this isn’t an invitation to sell of your social media accounts, studying
Take the time to complete your profile on at every turn but rather an opportunity to analytics and genuinely participating you
every social network you join. Provide a build relationships and trust. will generate substantial relevant traffic from
concise explanation of who you are and what a broad range of sources.
you do and include a link to your site. Use a By conducting thorough and professional
consistent image as your avatar between sites, social media optimisation your website can
whether it is a logo or photo, so others can progress from being a nice billboard to an
recognise you. inbound marketing asset.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION 17
Getting to Know
Your Search Engine
WORDS: Neha Kale
As search engine optimisation (SEO) evolves, getting better acquainted with search
engines and their attributes, benefits and quirks is pivotal to your business. Power Retail
spoke to representatives from popular search engines, Google, Bing, blekko and Yahoo,
for further insights.
With thanks to Mike Markson,
‘BLEKKO’ - HIGHLY and only search a specific set of sites.
For instance these slashtag searches will
TARGETED SEARCH yield the following results:
“Live since 1 November 2010, our primary ‘
• global warming/conservative’ – will
differentiator is a feature called a 'slashtag', return global warming websites with a
which lets users spin search into a specific conservative slant.
vertical. The slashtag system allows for a ‘
• global warming /liberal’ – will return only
highly curated search experience. Users can liberal websites.
create and edit their own slashtags, with an ‘
• global warming/science’ – will generate a
impressive 110,000 slashtags created since list of science websites.
“Think the Wikipedia model meets search
“For example: a query like ‘global warming’ engine. So far it’s working great - in our first
- a standard search on blekko will give week after launch, our users had created
you great web wide search results, but if over 30,000 slashtags already - some are in
you want to limit your search to a specific really niche categories, like ‘gluten free’ or
vertical, you can add a slashtag to the query ‘neuroscience’.
18 SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
“Australians are online and they’re looking for your brand
and your business. You need to be online to respond to their
interest and convert these consumers into customers!”
Ross McDonald, Head of Retail and Consumer Goods, Google
WHAT IS GOOGLE AND BEST PRACTICE SEO ADVICE FOR GOOGLE?
HOW DOES IT WORK? “There are various tools related to SEO that people aren’t using often enough. For example,
listing your business on Google Maps can get you into Google’s natural search results - this is
Google is a provider of search and
a free service that does not require a website or a technical background.
advertising services as well as online tools
“If you are a new business, or a business moving into online marketing for the first time,
such as Gmail, Google Maps and YouTube.
then search engine marketing is going to give you faster results initially while SEO is a better
The company delivers highly targeted and
relevant advertising through its AdWords
“It can sometimes be a challenge to ensure your website appears within Google’s natural
and AdSense platforms.
search results. If you need to start attracting customers straight away, Google Adwords allows
Google employs a powerful algorithm,
you to set up online advertising within thirty minutes. We often hear that business owners
which it changes on a regular basis to
are scared of online marketing because of what could go wrong. However, unlike traditional
help maintain the currency of its search
advertising, online advertising is highly flexible and can easily be modified according to results.”
function. It also uses a sophisticated index
to generate the most up-to-date and
relevant search results. This index consists
With thanks to Ross McDonald, Head of Retail and Consumer Goods, Google
of ‘spiders’ that crawl websites at the same
pace at which the pages change.
Google’s Page Rank system rates the
credibility of a website by assigning a rank
from zero to 10. A website’s Google Page
Rank improves every time an external
website links to it and will increase if these
sites have a high ranking.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION 19
“We’ve found that approximately 66 percent of people are using
search more frequently to make decisions. In these instances,
people need a search tool that intelligently surfaces a range of
information to help them make better choices.”
Microsoft Spokesperson On Behalf of Bing
WHAT IS BING AND HOW BING'S POINT BEST PRACTICE SEO
DOES IT WORK? OF DIFFERENCE ADVICE FOR BING
“Research indicates that people are using “Bing is a decision engine a tool built “Unique, high quality content is the
search today to make decisions, above and for searches in key decision-oriented best thing you can do to rank well in all
beyond simple navigation. Launched in categories like travel, shopping, health, engines. Sites in our featured categories
June 2003, Microsoft designed Bing to help entertainment and local. Core to a great may rank higher or lower depending on
people overcome search overload, which search experience is relevance of results their content and how they optimise for
we define as ‘too many links - not enough and we’ve continued to make strides in Bing. We work closely with publishers to
real information’, to help them with key this area. We are working to introduce provide SEO tools and guidance that will
decisions like buying a product, planning a features such as best match where we help them maximise their results. A great
trip, discovering new music or researching clearly highlight the ‘best result’ when we first step is for publishers to submit their
a health condition.” think one exists. sitemaps and URLs to ensure the Bing
“We also provide hard to find search engine has access to their content.”
information such as customer service
phone numbers on the search page
when available. Content on the web is With thanks to a Microsoft spokesperson
on behalf of Bing.
increasingly dynamic and customers are
routinely looking for text, audio, video and
image content - we built Bing to better
return results that include all of these
20 SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION
WHAT IS YAHOO! AND HOW DOES IT WORK? YAHOO!’S POINT
Originally established in 1994 by Stanford Ph.D. students David Filo and Jerry Yang, Yahoo!
has grown into a major internet brand with search, content verticals and other web services.
Yahoo’s algorithmic search technology,
Yahoo! is one of the world’s most visited websites, attracting more than half a billion users
‘Yahoo! Search’, sorts search results in line
each month (Sources: Yahoo!, TechCrunch). The company offers a content, communications
with the relevance of the users search
and community platform providing consumer experiences and advertising. query. A single search will offer results
from a regularly updated database, which
In Australia, a 50-50 partnership was formed between the Seven Network Limited and captures newly published pages, late
Yahoo! Inc. to create Yahoo!7 in 2006. The newly formed search engine created a point of breaking news and significant events. It
difference by combining Yahoo! search and communications capabilities, with Seven’s media might also uncover results from Yahoo!
and entertainment content and marketing capabilities. In January 2011, Yahoo!7 reached Answers, Yahoo! Video or Flickr (Source:
52.4% of Australia’s online market. (comScore Media Metrix). TechCrunch).
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION 21
About Our Contributors
FRANK GRASSO DOMINIC GLUCHOWSKI
Frank Grasso, CEO of e-channel Search, has been involved in Search Dominic Gluchowski is a Search Director at boutique search engine
Engine Marketing (SEM) since the early days of AltaVista and Lycos. marketing agency, SEO Falcon. He is also a co-founder of www.
Frank began his search career in Melbourne in 1999 consulting to early ilovecoupons.com.au and a number of companies currently in stealth
adopters of SEM. He worked as a Search Engine Marketing consultant mode. His background is in website optimisation, SEO, sales and
until 2002, when he moved to Adelaide and formed e-channel Search. marketing, in which he has worked for the past 10 years.
Frank went on to develop the multi award winning DynamicCreative™
software and now heads e-channel Search, one of Australia’s leading
internet marketing agencies.
E-CHANNEL SEARCH CRAIG WILSON
www.e-channel.com.au Craig Wilson is Managing Director of Sticky, a digital agency based in
Newcastle, Australia that has evolved to encompass: ‘Sticky Advertising’,
‘Get Sticky – Inbound Marketing’ and ‘NLYZR’ website analytics and SEO
AIDAN BEANLAND service. His Media Hunter blog is considered one of Australia’s leading
Aidan Beanland is currently the Regional SEO Manager for Yahoo!7, marketing blogs. Craig was a speaker/panelist at the 2009 and 2010
covering Australia and New Zealand as well as advising on international Australasian Media and Broadcasting Congress and has addressed
strategy. Aidan has 13 years of search marketing experience with conferences for some of the country’s leading businesses on topics
a focus on SEO, but he has worked across all types of paid search ranging from SEO, the changing media and marketing landscape and
campaigns. Aidan is a search marketing and communications specialist inbound marketing.
with global internet marketing, management, publishing and client
Chris Thomas, Chief Search Engineer, Reseo
Phil Leahy, Director (Asia Pacific), SEO Moves
WaiHong Fong, Managing Director, OzHut Pty Ltd
22 SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION